Wednesday, June 16, 2010

(Work-in-) Progress Report: Bob

Word count (to the nearest thousand): 65,000 (and falling)
Status: Reading him out loud
Attitude: Defeated

I thought I was almost there. I thought I was just about to send him off to betas. But now that I’m reading him out loud, I’m finding parts that are just AWFUL. They roll off the tongue about as well as pond scum. And it’s killing me. It’s killing me that I’m suddenly so far away again. It’s. Killing. Me.

Any advice? Encouragement? Commiseration?

(In lieu of flowers, please send chocolate ice cream.)


Kelly Bryson said...

No despairing! It just takes time and multiple passes to get all those layers of meaning and characterization and parallels and perfect dialogue. Everybody has the moment you're in, where they realize it needs another pass.

Put your shoulder to the wheel? Does that help?

Take a break and get some sleep, maybe. Chocalate? I think that covers all of my typical escape-from-doldrums methods.

Myrna Foster said...

Do they ever get to the point where they don't need another pass?

I know how you feel. I was going to give mine out to betas after the second draft, until I started reading it again. I probably should have run it through another couple of drafts before I handed it to you, but I'm not a patient person.

I'm with Kelly. Take a break and get some sleep. Maybe read a good book.

Kathryn Packer Roberts said...

You are funny. Yes, that sounds about right. I have been there, done that. The thing that REALLY invigorates me is reading wonderful excerpts from award winning novels (same genre as I am writing). I love getting inspired by others and seeing how I can improve to their level. It sort of gives me a challenge and a foreseeable goal...something to aspire to.

Anyway, I don't know if you work the same way, but just a thought.

Hope it all gets better =). I'm going to go eat myself into oblivion...jk

Connie Keller said...

I've been there too. Get some rest and then a cup of coffee.

Then get on your battle gear. (I think of editing as going to war.) Time to "lock and load."

Pam Harris said...

Take a deep breath and step away from the manuscript. Seriously. I think you need a little vacay from BOB. Give yourself about 2 weeks or so, and look at it with fresh eyes. :)

Unknown said...

I'm there too--I so want to be finished with this manuscript! Yesterday, I finally put it aside and decided I'm not looking at it for a day or two. I'm going to work on my new ms and then go back to that one before sending it to my crit group. Good luck!

Esther Vanderlaan said...

I'm sorry. The thing I would say is to take a break-- as long as you need to. Do not pressure yourself to get it done.

Erin Edwards said...

"Finishing" a book only ever lasts a couple of days for me; a week at the most. I don't think I'll ever be done with a book until it's printed and it's just not possible for me to change it.

It sounds like the prose is what's bothering you. But does all of the plot work? Really, if your plot works then you have most of your battle won! It's just polishing.

If you're not sure your plot works, then why polish scenes you might not need? Perhaps switch to analyzing your plot - seeing what a good job you've done on that might inspire you to keep polishing the prose and to show you how to polish it to best enhance your story.

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Thank you, everyone, for this. Really, thanks. I needed this. (And Pam, I was afraid someone was going to say that:) )

I think I just need to accept that I'm not as close as I thought I was, and take a deep breath, and relax. Unburdening myself on all you lovely people has been wonderfully therapeutic.

I'll be back later with another interview!